Fr. Mihai Corpodean
Mircea Mihai Corpodean was born in Cluj Napoca City, Romania in 1969, and baptized as an infant in the Romanian Orthodox Church. After completing high school in Cluj Napoca, he graduated from the Romanian Orthodox Theological Seminary with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology. After studying further in Pastoral Theology at the Theological Faculty in Sibiu and at the Theological Faculty in Cluj Napoca, he graduated with Distinction in Canonical and Ecclesiastical Law.
In 1993 he married Delia Anca, and has three sons, Mircea (1994), Alin (1996) and Tudor (2001). He obtained a Magister Artium Diploma in Theology, with Distinction, in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria, through which university he is currently reading for a Doctoral Degree in New Testament.
In 1995 he was ordained as Deacon in the Romanian Orthodox Church and in the same month, as a Priest in Cluj Napoca. For 5 years he served as Parish Priest for Bogata Village, Cluj County. In 2000 he was sent by His Eminence Josef Pop, Archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in Paris for Western and Central Europe, to South Africa, where he founded the first Romanian Orthodox Parish in Africa, the Romanian Orthodox Parish of Saint Andrew.
In 2002 the Romanian parish combined with St Nicholas of Japan, with Father Mihai serving as the Parish Priest. In Father Mihai’s own words: “I served as Orthodox Priest in South Africa for seven years, six months, two weeks and two days. We loved and we still love South Africa very much and I am sure it will always be like this, missing all the brothers and sisters in Christ that are still there, or elsewhere in the World, or departed from among us. Serving as a Romanian Orthodox Priest in Saint Nicholas of Japan Missionary Parish in Brixton, Johannesburg, was a very special experience and blessing, sometimes very challenging (because of the language, of different traditions, different culture…), sometimes very demanding, sometimes very sensitive due to the different emotions experienced among parishioners with different background, nationalities, experiences, social integration … and always very rewarding. In the six years of serving in the Saint Nicholas of Japan Missionary Parish in Brixton, Johannesburg I have been granted with many special moments and experiences, some of them unrepeatable and unique for me: the Vespers Service with His Beatitude Theodoros, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria; the first Holy Liturgy Service in English ever Broadcasted on a National Radio Station in South Africa, “The Earthquake” of every Great Saturday with “Arise, o Lord and Judge the earth …!” … Lord, thank You for them all!”
After leaving South Africa, Father Mihai and his family briefly returned to Romania. He was soon appointed as Parish Priest to the Romanian Orthodox Church of Saint Ignatius in Auckland and as Dean of the Romanian Orthodox Church in New Zealand, and has held these positions since 2009.